Successes, Values and Rants! (Oh my!)

So yesterday I posted my food diary in the form of a google doc in which I colour coded healthy days, unhealthy days, healthy food choice and unhealthy food choices. I also wrote a summary about each day – some of my issues, some of my successes and I was pretty dismayed at the 60-65% healthy eating because after reading about the 80:20 rule (see this post for explanation and link) I was hoping to be running closer to that 80% healthy and 20% indulgence but I still know that I’ve been making a lot more healthy choices and clearly I’m succeeding as I woke up this morning and weighed myself.

I try to only weigh myself once in a while because I don’t think my life should be taken over by a number. Of course, I have a goal weight but I try to be more conscious of the effects. For example, I’ve noticed that over the past few weeks, that I have more energy. This can be attributed to a number of things (I know that summer is emotionally my hardest time of the year) but I don’t sit around in bed and watch Netflix like I used to. I’m hardly even keeping up with Grey’s Anatomy! I’m almost two weeks behind and not because I have too much homework but because I’m spending more time being present in what I’m doing and making a point to exercise more. I keep going to work and instead of not wanting to work, I want to run around and stretch and be in a good mood. That being said, when I weighed myself this morning I realised why I have had so much energy recently. I’ve lost 2 pounds and 2.8% body fat. Overall since this summer my BMI is down 0.8, I’ve lost 4 pounds and more significantly, I’ve lost about 4% body fat. I still would like to lose about 10% body fat to be in a healthy range. Now that I’m doing more research I think I may have previously been confusing BMI and body fat% and lean v.s. fat mass but I will have to continue my research to nail down these concepts. I want to point out here that body fat doesn’t necessarily mean to lose weight but more so that you raise the amount of muscle in your body (which is the fastest way to burn fat) by having less fat and more muscle your body fat % goes down.

Another thing I wanted to point out in this post is that this project isn’t something I will be able to give a product of in the end and that’s why there has been so much qualitative and quantitative data. This project is as much (if not more) about unlearning than it is about learning. I’m trying new recipes, keeping track of what I consume and evaluating what I eat. I knew that I had a problem because with switching back and forth between my mom’s and dad’s houses, it was easy to pick something up on the way (especially since I couldn’t cook – not well at least). But now I’ve started to cook more meals at home and I’m excited to do it. I still often skip the dishes when I can, leaving them for someone else (which usually makes my dad mad), but I’ve started the lifelong process of healthy eating.

Finally, I wanted to clarify some of my choices on what is and isn’t healthy. For my evaluation of my food diary, I picked healthy or unhealthy and colour coded them. What I consider to be healthy (which will change as I do more research on healthy and unhealthy foods throughout the project) up to this point I focus on the 80:20 model of healthy eating. I also value protein because I am trying to build muscle and proteins help repair the tears in your muscles from working out (pretty good for an English major to know that I think). While I love meat, this project has also given me an excuse to try to go meatless or reduce my meat consumption. Due to my environmental values(90 percent of the world’s large fish populations are depleted!!!), I have chosen not to eat fish (or at least not often) for the last few years. Even though I work at Cabela’s Canada, I recently saw a video where a bow hunter shot an elk and the noise that the elk made (even though it was a quick and humane kill) really stuck with me in a personal way. Growing up in a family of hunters, I believe in sustainable hunting and meat consumption but if I can reduce the amount of store bought meat (the production and transportation of which have a HUGE ecological impact and footprint), then maybe I can be healthy and support my environment. Even though I don’t buy the groceries in my households,  if you are interested in sustainable and environmentally friendly foods, you should definitely check out! They will deliver foods that have been grown and produced within 200 km of your location to you house or work for you weekly! It’s not necessarily organic, but they do carry a variety of grains and flours, meat, fruits and veggies, baked goods and sweets, coffees, teas, alcoholic beverages, dairy and eggs and prepared foods. They also have “stock boxes” with a variety of foods to suit the needs of your family. As far as I know it is year round and that’s my rant. Buy local. In cutting down on my meat consumption, I need to find other ways to get those nutrients and proteins so I find that eggs and nuts in moderation are a good source. I also think that snacks in moderation can fit into an overall healthy diet so some of those I have listed as neutral. I consider veggies and fruits to be healthy of course, and while  I don’t think I meet the recommended amounts usually, I’m eating far more fruits and veggies than I normally would and more consciously choosing these foods as a snack. I do consider popcorn a healthy snack because it has all the nutrients you need to survive! In moderation (and without lots of butter and salt) it’s a great and filling snack. I do struggle with the moderation part, but I’m getting better! Another healthy thing for me is making healthy choices at home (choosing to eat homemade) and when I do go out to eat. I’ve been trying to cut down the amount of food I eat at fast food restaurants but also I’ve been trying to make healthier choices in where to eat when I go out, eat smaller portions and choose healthier foods when I am there. I will be doing more research on healthy and unhealthy food options in the coming weeks and I’m still hoping to try out some meal planning!  Sorry this one had no pictures – I used them all up last night – and this post was a much shorter rant in my head, so if you’ve read this whole post, you deserve to enjoy this short video of Drake making a homemade pizza!


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